320 pages ~ ★★★★☆ ~ Netgalley Arc
Sugar Springs is a sleepy town in Mississippi and the setting for Amy Lillard’d newest book Can’t Judge a Book by its Murder, everybody knows everyone and exciting untoward events rarely occur so when Books & More owner Arlo receives a phone call informing her the dead body of Wally Harrison has been found outside her shop its all anyone can talk about. Wally is an ex-Sugar Spring resident and the town’s golden boy who’s returned for a ten year school reunion and to celebrate the release of his new book; initially his fall from the empty third floor flat Arlo is trying to rent out is seen as suicide but that judgement is quickly changed to murder given the evidence at the scene.
Fingers start to point towards Arlo’s best friend and co-owner of Books and More Chloe as the last person to admit to seeing Wally alive and the mother to their nine year old son Jayden, who Wally has previously wanted nothing to do with. With limited time to try and prove Chloe’s innocence Arlo begrudgingly allows her Friday Night Book Club to temporarily become detectives.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this but I really enjoyed it. It’s fast paced jumping straight in just after the murder; I didn’t find the ending to be completely obvious, just enough clues to keep you hooked along several suspects and motives to keep you on your toes.
This is going to be the first book in a series and I’m looking forward to seeing how these characters develop, they’re all so intertwined around the town and I think their relationships can only get better. The book club is made up primarily of Arlo’s godmother and her friends and I thought they made for a great dynamic and added an element of humour to the book.
The kindle version∆ of this is out on 29th October or you can pre-order the paperback for December, either way, this would make a great cosy read. Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for providing me with a copy this in exchange for an honest review.